Saturday, May 07, 2011

Shocking CCTV footage shows 'intoxicated' off-duty police officer waving loaded gun in a bar

A police officer has been suspended without pay and forced to hand over his weapons after he was caught on camera pointing a loaded gun at a bartender. Richard Heffron was drinking while off duty at the bar in Farmingdale, New York, last Tuesday when he suddenly pulled out his weapon and aimed it at the man behind the bar.

While no shots were fired, the officer has been disciplined for his potentially fatal show of bravado.

Shocking surveillance footage from the South Main Street Pub begins by showing Heffron chatting to a friend and knocking back shots while bartender Charlie Ball turns his back to pour a drink.

As he leans on the bar with his left arm, Heffron reaches down with his right hand before suddenly pulling out the weapon and aiming it at Ball. When Ball then turns around to speak to his customers, he is greeted with the terrifying sight of a gun in his face.

It is only later, when Heffron takes out the gun for a second time and pulls out his ammunition clip that the bartender realises the weapon had been fully loaded and could have gone off in his face.

'I couldn't believe this was happening,' Ball said. 'It was really a crazy, surreal situation. 'I didn't know what was going to happen. You got a gun in your face - somebody could have gotten killed.'

After walking out of the bar, Heffron then returned with his friend several hours later looking for more drinks. He was so drunk by this point he was 'incoherent', according to Ball, and while the officer apologised to the bartender for earlier pulling out his weapon, Ball decided to report what had happened to the police.

'I just want him off the street," Ball told WNBC. 'He's drinking, driving around and he's got this gun. It's a big concern.'

After finally leaving the pub in daylight, Heffron can be seen on camera getting into his truck to drive home, before being convinced by a friend to take a taxi instead.

Heffron told Ball that night that he has worked as a police officer for 17 years, a dozen of which were spent as a union delegate.

The officer's department and the Nassau County district attorney have both launched investigations into the incident.

Police bosses have now examined the video and confirmed the 'misconduct', according to a police statement. A Nassau Police source told the New York Post Heffron was 'intoxicated' during the incident.

'By their own admission, they said they had frequented a number of joints beforehand,' Ball added. 'I think he was drunk.'

Family friend Linda Deleo, told ABC: 'What he did was stupid. It looks to me like it was just three guys hanging around drinking and one of them was drunk and made a really stupid move.'

Original report here

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